How Do I Prevent the Flu from Speading?

We asked Dr. Todd Wolynn, a board-certified pediatrician and the president of Kids Plus Pediatrics of Squirrel Hill and Pleasant Hills, to respond to one of your health questions.



Q: One of my kids caught the flu at school. How do I prevent my other children from catching it?

A: Avoiding close contact, using tissues, washing your hands well and often, coughing into your elbow, and eating and sleeping well all help to minimize the spread of respiratory infections. But the single best way to prevent children from catching the flu is to vaccinate them before they’re exposed.

While the Influenza vaccine—which comes in nasal spray and injectable forms—is not 100-percent protective, it’s by far the most effective means of prevention against the spread and infection of this highly contagious disease. Each year’s flu vaccine is different, based on scientific assessments of the Influenza strains most likely to be encountered that year. The vaccine for this year includes protection against two common seasonal strains of the flu virus, as well as protection against the H1N1 strain.

Influenza is often mistakenly equated to “the stomach flu” or “a bad cold.” Classic Influenza results in high fevers, shaking chills, severe fatigue and terrible aches that make you feel as if your body has been beaten all over. When kids get the flu, they miss several days of school, and their caregivers can miss just as many days of work. Influenza is a serious and life-threatening disease—even in children; last year in the U.S., more than 275 kids, from newborn to 18 years of age, died as a result of contracting the flu.

Making sure your children follow good health and hygiene habits is essential to protecting them from any illness, but the best prevention against the flu and all its impacts is an early, safe and effective vaccination.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Pittsburgh's Top 10 in April

Pittsburgh's Top 10 in April

The 10 best things to do in April in Pittsburgh.
20 Great Biking & Hiking Trails in Western Pennsylvania

20 Great Biking & Hiking Trails in Western Pennsylvania

Each trail has been lovingly constructed and maintained, using old infrastructure to reconnect disparate communities.
A Superior Strategy? Kevin Sousa's Big Bet on Braddock

A Superior Strategy? Kevin Sousa's Big Bet on Braddock

Pittsburgh chef Kevin Sousa will draw on a fierce work ethic, community goodwill and faith in his own vision for Superior Motors, the progressive American spot he plans to open this year.
Getting Better Over Time: PNC Park at 15

Getting Better Over Time: PNC Park at 15

Adoration for PNC Park is near-universal. But would the park be the cherished baseball palace it is today if a few early proposals instead had become reality?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

VisitPITTSBURGH’s Newest Video Ad: Bring the Kids

VisitPITTSBURGH’s Newest Video Ad: Bring the Kids

The Kidsburgh campaign will debut in May in selected markets no more than a day’s drive from Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh's Dog Rescuers

Pittsburgh's Dog Rescuers

Two local businessmen have found a worthwhile weekend job –– flying dogs in need of rescue.
Cutch as a Steeler? Tomlin Likes the Idea

Cutch as a Steeler? Tomlin Likes the Idea

The Steelers coach says he has just the right role in mind for the Pirates outfielder.
Feed the Meter from your Phone? There May Soon be an App for That

Feed the Meter from your Phone? There May Soon be an App for That

But the plan from the Pittsburgh Parking Authority may have some strings attached.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Pittsburgh's Top 10 in April

Pittsburgh's Top 10 in April

The 10 best things to do in April in Pittsburgh.
20 Great Biking & Hiking Trails in Western Pennsylvania

20 Great Biking & Hiking Trails in Western Pennsylvania

Each trail has been lovingly constructed and maintained, using old infrastructure to reconnect disparate communities.
A Superior Strategy? Kevin Sousa's Big Bet on Braddock

A Superior Strategy? Kevin Sousa's Big Bet on Braddock

Pittsburgh chef Kevin Sousa will draw on a fierce work ethic, community goodwill and faith in his own vision for Superior Motors, the progressive American spot he plans to open this year.
Getting Better Over Time: PNC Park at 15

Getting Better Over Time: PNC Park at 15

Adoration for PNC Park is near-universal. But would the park be the cherished baseball palace it is today if a few early proposals instead had become reality?
PittGirl: Preparing for a World Series Toast

PittGirl: Preparing for a World Series Toast

Thanks to her husband believing in "happy wife, happy life," PittGirl has the perfect wine to celebrate the Pirates' ultimate victory.
Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Your 10 best bets for this month.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module